Bite-sized knowledge for the hungrily curious
Oct19
Mon8pm

Congratulations to The Electric Mayhem on winning our quiz last night!

What does a blobfish look like?

The Answer

Not as ugly as you think.

You may be familiar with the blobfish. It was named the world’s ugliest animal in 2013 by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. To this day it remains the UAPS mascot. You may have seen pictures of the blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) like the one below.

INOSIPMAX VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS // CC BY-SA 4.0 (from Mental Floss)

Fair to say that it looks pretty ugly/awesome. The reality is that this is not what the blobfish really looks like in its natural habitat – 2,000 to 4,000 feet below the ocean where water pressure is 60 to 120 times normal atmospheric pressure. At that depth, look like pretty normal fish as shown in the illustrations below.

Rachel Caauwe [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Alan Riverstone McCulloch (1885-1925) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s imagine what humans would look like it they were judged by what they looked like at 60-120 times less air pressure than we’re used to. Blood boils when it reaches what is called the Armstrong Limit 6.3 kPa which is about 1/16th of regular atmospheric pressure. Given that I’d say that it looks pretty good all things considered.

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